September 12, 2020
By: Emilie Lapointe
I don’t know about you, but romance in the midst of this pandemic means a lot of disjointed text conversations and video chats – it was a fairly big mood killer to ask every couple of minutes: “Am I still frozen? Can you hear me now?”
Luckily, with most businesses and public spaces opening, we have many more options for spending some much-needed quality time with our partners and crafting a fun local romantic getaway.
My partner and I were very excited to whisk away to Oakville for a full day of activities and a little overnight stay. Especially with fall just around the corner, September feels like a fresh start and there is no better way to welcome this new season than with some rest, relaxation, romance… and of course a little quirky adventure!
Bright and early!
After a very busy week, our first step was coffee. Coffee is an essential and Tribeca serves up some of the best roasts in Oakville. Their fall/winter seasonal offerings have made an appearance and I cannot recommend the Crème Brulée Cappuccino enough – they even pull out a mini torch to caramelize the sugar on top!
After being appropriately caffeinated, we walked over to the Rosewater Spa down the street ready to be pampered. We were greeted by a receptionist behind plexi-glass and asked to fill out health waivers before being promptly escorted to the changing rooms to lock up our items and tuck ourselves into robes.
The entire experience was incredible and very intimate. The private VIP Suite is dimly-lit. Two small bottles of champagne await you along with a bar of chocolate with dried flowers, fruits and a surprising twist – peppercorn! My palate was dancing.
Our side-by-side massage was relaxing and our massage therapists made sure to focus on the areas we felt the most tension. Because we both work such long houes, we both wanted our necks, shoulders and backs to get some much needed love.
My boyfriend looked at me afterwards and said of the experience: “If I could start my morning like that every day, I would.”
The private grotto also features a steam room with a starry night ceiling feature. Although steam is not allowed yet by law, Rosewater Spa is very excited to offer that feature once it is safe to do so.
Time for a little culture
As of September 1, the Oakville Galleries are open to the public with a new exhibition by Elizabeth McIntosh called Show Up. Check out their website to schedule your visit. The galleries are open on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., so make sure to plan ahead!
Going to the galleries is a great free afternoon activity. Spend some time at Gairloch Gardens after perusing the art on the grounds. The garden in one word: breathtaking. It was my first visit and I was blown away at all the plants. I was prancing around the entire place, buzzing like a bee from one flower to the next!
Where to eat
My boyfriend went to culinary school and we met while both working at a restaurant, so food is something we have always enjoyed together. Whether it’s cooking meals together or simply eating amazing dishes when we explore, food brings us a lot of joy. You can catch me dancing in my chair almost every time as my food is being brought out!
As we were on the go during the day, we wanted to sit down indoors for a quick lunch. Neither of us had experienced dining inside since restaurants opened their doors and we were curious. We chose Plank Restobar for some small plates. Plank offered a digital menu using a QR code and your phone’s camera app (It felt futuristic, safe and cool!)
For dinner, we decided to bump up the romance factor and make a reservation on one of the gorgeous patios near the Bronte Harbour at Cove Restaurant. Cove is a seafood restaurant with a bright, airy patio, vibrant cocktails and gorgeous interior details – it looks like something straight out of a Coastal Californian magazine!
We made sure to double-check when the sun would be setting so we could sip our cocktails, enjoy our food and each other’s company with a beautiful multi-coloured sky melting into the watery horizon.
After a drink (or two!) make your night cap a walk along the harbour to watch the night sky.
Both restaurants had staggered tables, sanitizer available and felt very safe for diners and employees alike!
Time to glow!
For some post-dinner fun, make a reservation at Putting Edge and get in a quick round of 18-hole mini putt. I know they say not to wear white after Labour Day, but I was never one for fashion rules. Put on your whitest outfit and enjoy strutting in your fluorescent clothes!
At Putting Edge, they are making reservations for every 15 minutes to ensure groups are staggered and everyone is asked to wear a mask. You won’t be able to see your teeth glow like Ross from Friends, but your whole face can glow if you have a white mask!
You can choose to play a friendly game or to keep score – loser buys the other dessert!
Where to stay and unwind
After a long day full of activities and good food, we were ready to relax at the Sandman Hotel. Whenever I go for a trip or overnight stay, I always make sure to bring a few comforts from home to make my stay cozier. This time, I brought a few different face mask options to take our spa experience back home with us! With the robes in the hotel’s rooms, it almost felt like being at another spa!
The hotel offers guests the option to reserve time at the gym, pool and hot tub for some extra fun. The space felt incredibly safe with sanitizer stations all around, social distancing and their pure cleaning protocols – after each stay the room is left for 48 hours and any contaminants left after that time are completely wiped away with a deep clean by staff. Learn more about their commitment to cleanliness and safety here.
We were happy to rest our heads at the Sandman Hotel for the night knowing our safety and comfort were a priority.
Click here to see Emilie’s full adventure on our Instagram highlights.